Flickr Free Accounts Lose 1TB of Storage on Jan. 8

Back in April, premium image hosting and sharing platform SmugMug announced that it has acquired Flickr from Oath Inc. Since then, we’ve been waiting to see how SmugMug would handle, and ultimately change the way in which Flickr works. Today, we found out, and it’s probably not going to sit too well with anyone who relies on a Flickr free account to host their images.

SmugMug spent the last few months listening to feedback from the Flickr community before deciding what to do. The end result is changes to both the Flickr Pro and Flickr Free accounts. First the bad news.

The one terabyte of storage Flickr Free accounts enjoy is disappearing to be replaced with 1,000 best photos or videos. There will be no size limit on those images and videos, but 1,000 is the hard upper limit. SmugMug realizes there’s many existing Free accounts with more than 1,000 assets stored in them, so it’s giving users until Jan.

8, 2019 to download their images or upgrade to a Pro account. It looks as though SmugMug has no intention of deleting images from Free accounts if you are over the limit, but if you are past Jan 8, then you can’t upload anything else to Flickr.

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Flickr Pro accounts are also changing. A Pro account costs £50 per year and SmugMug is offering a 30 percent discount until Nov.

30 as encouragement for Free account users to upgrade. So that first year will only cost you £35. In return for your money, the storage limit disappears for both images and videos.

There will be no adverts when you are logged in, and advanced stats available to see which of your photos and videos are performing the best. SmugMug is also offering priority assistance to Pro account holders from a “new world-class support team.” As for new features, Flickr is introducing support for 5K photo sizes, which means your images should automatically look their best even on the latest high-resolution displays.

Video playback time is also being increased from its current limit of three minutes to 10 minutes, but this won’t be rolled out until early next year. Finally, there’s partner discounts available, with the most popular likely to be for Adobe’s Creative Cloud (15 percent discount). It’s safe to assume many Free account holders will be looking for an alternative to Flickr instead of opting to pay £50 per year.

As SmugMug isn’t going to delete any images, though, I doubt there will be a mass download, rather the Free accounts will just become archives for users who go elsewhere for image hosting. One final change that’s happening is the login process. From January, you’ll no longer need a Yahoo! account for access.

Flickr will be its own entity with a Flickr login all to itself.

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